US Weapons Exports Decreased 21 Percent to $138.2 Billion in Fiscal 2021

By Reuters
December 23, 2021 Updated: December 23, 2021

WASHINGTON—Sales of U.S. military equipment to foreign governments fell 21 percent to $138 billion in the latest fiscal year, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, as the Biden administration shifts away from some of the more aggressive arms sales practices under former President Donald Trump.

The U.S. State Department disclosed military sales figures for the 2021 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30. Sales of U.S. military equipment in the prior fiscal year had totaled $175 billion.

President Joe Biden’s administration shifted away from selling offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia, due to civilian casualties in Yemen and intends to announce a new weapons export policy that emphasizes human rights when evaluating an arms sale.

The 2021 dip comes after high one-time sales of fighter jets and guided missiles in the final year of the Trump administration. Major fiscal 2020 deals included Japan’s purchase of 63 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin accounting for as much as $23 billion of that year’s total.

By Mike Stone